IPC Sections Connected with IT ACT
Defining Cyber Crimes;
Every human thinks that Cyber Crime is only stealing someone’s data. But we defining term we mean Cybercrime as electronic such as computer, laptop etc for stealing someone’s private data or hack their device and harm them. Besides, it is an illegal activity that involves a series of issues ranging from theft to using your system or IP address as a tool for committing a crime.
How Information Technology Act Inculcate Indian Penal Code:
One finds laws that penalize cyber-crimes in several statutes and even in regulations framed by various regulators. The Information Technology Act, 2000 (IT Act) and the Indian Penal Code, 1860 (IPC) penalize several cyber-crimes and unsurprisingly, there are many provisions in the IPC and the IT Act that overlap with each other.
Parallel Provisions in the IPC and IT Act
Many of the cyber-crimes penalized by the IPC and the IT Act have the same ingredients and even nomenclature. Here are a some of them:
Hacking and Data Theft:
Sections 43 and 66 of the IT Act penalize several activities ranging from hacking into a computer network, data theft, introducing and spreading viruses through computer networks, damaging computers or computer networks or computer programmes, disrupting any computer or computer system or computer network, denying an authorized personnel access to a computer or computer network, damaging or destroying information residing in a computer etc. The maximum punishment for the above offences is imprisonment of up to 3 years or a fine of Rs.5,00,000 or both.
Section 378 of the IPC relating to “theft” of movable property will apply to the theft of any data, online or otherwise, since section 22 of the IPC states that the moveable property include every kind of property except land and things attached to the earth. The maximum punishment for theft under section 378 of the IPC is imprisonment of up to 3 years or a fine or both.
It may be argued that the word “corporeal” which means ‘physical’ or ‘material’ would exclude digital properties from the ambit of the aforesaid section 378 of the IPC. The counter-argument would be that the drafters intended to cover properties of every description, except land and things attached to the earth or permanently fastened to anything which is attached to the earth.
Section 424 of the IPC deals with dishonest or fraudulent removal or concealment of property. This aforementioned section will also apply to data theft. The maximum punishment under section 424 is imprisonment of up to 2 years or a fine or both.
Section 425 of the IPC deals with mischief. Needless to say, damaging computer systems and even denying access to a computer system will fall within section 425 of the IPC. The maximum punishment for mischief as per section 426 of the IPC is imprisonment of up to 3 (three) months or a fine or both.
Receipt of stolen property:
Section 66B of the IT Act prescribes punishment for dishonestly receiving any stolen computer resource or communication device. This section requires that the person receiving the stolen property ought to have done so dishonestly or should have reason to believe that it was stolen property. The punishment for this offence under Section 66B of the IT Act is imprisonment of up to 3 years or a fine of up to Rs.1,00,000 or both.
Similarly Section 411 of the IPC to prescribes punishment for dishonestly receiving stolen property and is worded in a manner that is almost identical to section 66B of the IT Act. The punishment under section 411 of the IPC is imprisonment of either description for a term of up to 3 years, or with fine, or with both.
Identity theft and cheating by personation:
Section 66C of the IT Act deals with punishment for identity theft. In other words, it defines that if any person commits theft by signature, password or any other identification feature shall be punished with imprisonment of either description of a term which may be extended to 3 years and will be liable to fine which may be extended to Rs.1,00,000.
Section 66D of the IT Act prescribes punishment for ‘cheating by personation by using computer resource’ and shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to 3 years and shall also be liable to fine which may extend to Rs. 1,00,000
Section 419 of the IPC also prescribes punishment for ‘cheating by impersonation’ and provides that any person who cheats by impersonation shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to 3 years or with a fine or with both.
The provisions of sections 463, 465 and 468 of the IPC dealing with forgery and “forgery for the purpose of cheating”, may also be applicable in a case of identity theft. Section 468 of the IPC prescribes punishment for forgery for the purpose of cheating and provides a punishment of imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to 7 years and also a fine.
The only difference between the punishments prescribed under sections 66C and 66D of the IT Act and section 419 of the IPC is that there is no maximum cap on the fine prescribed under the IPC. However, the punishment under section 468 is much higher in that the imprisonment may extend to 7 years.